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Posted: January 21, 2016
Holy smokes! Once again, Gretsch Custom Shop Master Builder Stephen Stern has built some truly extravagant custom shop models for the 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.
Here’s a quick look at 8 glorious Gretsch Custom Shop guitars, which all had a “car” theme …
G6136 Luxury Falcon “Spectre”
Inspired by an old Rolls Royce, this Black Falcon screams class, but with just a touch of flash thanks to the chrome pickguard, ruby red sparkle on the pickups bobbins and red sparkle binding around the bock, neck, headstock and even inside the F holes. The Spectre also features an ebony fingerboard that somehow just seems the perfect for this beauty.
G6134 Luxury Penguin “Roadster”
Luxurious is certainly the right word for this Penguin Roadster, inspired by the Duesenberg. The custom beauty features a chambered mahogany body finished in bright red with tan leather sides that mimic the interior upholstery of your favorite ride. In a finishing touch, the pickups are also accented with tan coloring to match the sides, while the guitar body, neck and headstock are wrapped in a tortoiseshell binding. The walnut burl even matches what you’d expect to see on a luxury car steering wheel or console.
6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relics
The trio of G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic guitars below pay tribute to stock racing cars and was a collaboration between Stern and artist Sara Ray who treated each guitar with a unique custom paint job.
The G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Hammerhead” seems like an ode to the high seas with its aqua blue finish featuring cartoon-ish looking hammerhead sharks, including one on the body and another on the see-through pickguard. The body, neck and headstock are capped off by red binding that blends well with a blood-red headstock featuring a pirate flag. Although based off a ’59 6120, this model features P-90 pickups instead of the common Filter’Tron pickups.
“That’s a little different for Gretsch,” noted Stern of the pickups.
G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Nashville Nelle”
Based off a ’55 6120, the Nashville Nelle pays homage to the American flag with its red, white and blue paint job, also featuring a pair of buxom blondes. Also has a custom belt-buckle tailpiece with a checkered flag racing theme.
G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Brooklyn Bruiser”
Based off a ’67 6120, Ray delivered on the bruiser theme with a menacing muscle man swinging his sledgehammer, against a cream backdrop.
All three models have a number painted on the back of the guitars, just like you’d expect to see on the door panels of racing cars.
G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo
This trio of G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo guitars is a play off the Bo Diddley Jupiter Thunderbird guitars, but in classic car finishes such as Limo Black, Cadillac Green and Shell Pink.
All feature chrome Cadillac tailpieces, silver glitter binding and chrome knobs.
Posted: January 11, 2016
This one escaped us, but now that it has crossed our radar, we had to share Israel Nash’s beautifully shot, captivating video for “LA Lately.”
Nash, a singer-songwriter originally from Missouri and currently based out of the Austin, Texas area, picked up steam with third album Rain Plains, which became a favorite on NPR and stations such as KEXP and KUTX.
His highly anticipated follow-up, Silver Seasons, dropped in October of last year. Although it was recorded at his studio on his 15-acre Texas ranch, the track “LA Lately” and its official music video were inspired by the City of Angels.
“‘LA Lately’ is a song that was written on the road while we were leaving LA after our show,” Nash told relix.com. “There is something magical about that city and the song is all about our experience. From getting there, to being there, and -as we do- moving along and leaving. When it was time to shoot a music video, it really seamed like the only place to be. The video is unabashedly a journey through the layers of Los Angeles. I also learned that you should take any chance you get to hang out in a backyard in Laurel Canyon. So make a friend or two down there while you’re at it.”
Watch the clip below featuring Nash on his Gretsch Rancher with Bigsby.
Posted: December 28, 2015
Music Radar recently caught up with Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt to discuss his new custom-built Gretsch guitar and “high-voltage tone.”
High-voltage tone is a must for the the trio these days as they spent the last few months opening for AC/DC across Europe and North America, where they played in front of tens of thousands of fans.
And according to his interview with MR, Colt couldn’t be more stoked with the way his unique Gretsch has performed on tour.
“Right after I talked to you [in 2013] and we got off the Who tour, I went back to the States and Gretsch approached me about making a guitar and, to be honest with you, I was a little like, ‘Well, I don’t know, I’ve always been a Gibson Les Paul guy,’” he told MR. “But they sat me down with Steve Stern at the Gretsch Custom Shop in California, and I explained what I wanted and I’m really proud of it. It came out incredible.
“We made a guitar based on a ’54 Gretsch Duo Jet, and it’s kind of a hybrid of a Les Paul and a Gretsch. It’s actually my main guitar on this tour … and I also used it pretty much for 99 percent of every song that you hear on the new album. It’s holding up really well. It’s a super-tough guitar to play live and I love it. It’s got everything I wanted, from growl to an old Chuck Berry-style kind of hollow body vibe.”
Posted: December 22, 2015
Having written more than 40 songs while out on the road touring, the band teamed with the National guitarist Aaron Dessner on the recording effort, spending two weeks at Dreamland in upstate New York, a nineteenth-century church that had been converted into a homey studio. There, the singers found the space to inspire the emotional gravity necessary for the material and the acoustics they were looking for.
“These are true stories,” says guitarist Brian Elmquist. “These aren’t things we made up. We tried to write some songs that had nothing to do with our personal stories, but we just didn’t respond to them. But we’re best buds, so we know each others’ personal stuff and trust each other to figure out what needs to be said and how to say it.”
For instance, Elmquist wrote “Call to War” about his own struggles during his twenties, but gave the song to Kanene Pipkin to sing on the album.
“The content is painful and brutal, but the imagery, the vocals, they build something delicate and ethereal,” she said. “That kind of contrast illuminates the true beauty and power of a song.”
When Gretsch caught up with Elmquist, however, we enjoyed hearing about a happier memory from his youth.
“So for Christmas my dad wanted to get me a guitar because I had been talking about it and I had picked up other people’s guitars,” recalled Elmquist. “He told me he would buy me a guitar for Christmas but I was like, ‘No I want a Nintendo,’ or some games or some clothes or shoes or something stupid. Right after that, I knew there was a guitar upstairs in the attic so I went up in the attic and got him to help me restring.
“But the reason I wanted to (play) was I watched Slash play the lead in ‘November Rain’ and that was the first thing I sat in front of and learned how to play every note. I couldn’t play it for real until I was in my 20s, but him standing on that piano at the end of ‘November Rain’ is just … and like when the train is coming by. Who wouldn’t want to play music?”
Elmquist also explains what turned him on to Gretsch guitars, and reveals that “Heaven Don’t Call Me Home” was a tribute to the rockabilly style of Brian Setzer.
Watch the full package below.
Posted: December 16, 2015
ABC hit-show Nashville’s winter finale offered a few moments fans have been waiting for, including a marriage proposal by Deacon Claybourne.
The episode also featured a tender performance between Claybourne and his niece Scarlett O’Connor that we couldn’t help but notice thanks to Claybourne’s Gretsch G6117T-HT Anniversary in Sunburst.
Watch a clip of the performance below.
Let the music of #Nashville ease your soul.
Posted by Nashville on Saturday, December 12, 2015
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